Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Founders Factory have decided to provide support to ChargedUp under the Founders Factory Retail joint venture (JV).

Founders Factory Retail was established in July last year to invest in start-ups. M&S holds a majority share within the JV.

ChargedUp is a mobile phone battery sharing platform that operates a network of vending stations across London. Customers can rent power banks and return them to any station in the network.

With the support of Founders Factory Retail, ChargedUp can leverage expertise in design, computer engineering, artificial intelligence (AI) and data science. The JV will work collaboratively with the startup for six months, helping the company to grow.

“Mobile phones are an essential part of today’s shopping experience and we all know how frustrating a low battery is.”

The JV will also support M&S with its digital transformation strategy through exposure to new technologies, business models and entrepreneurial thinking.

M&S Founders Factory lead Daniel Himsworth said: “We think ChargedUp is a great start-up business. Mobile phones are an essential part of today’s shopping experience and we all know how frustrating a low battery is.

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“The ChargedUp team has a very smart idea to solve the problem and keep shoppers fully charged. We look forward to working with them.”

In addition, the partnership will allow ChargedUp to operate its vending stations across eight M&S stores in London.

ChargedUp is currently operating two vending stations in M&S Merchant Square Café and Waterside Simply Food stores and will install units at Pantheon, White City, Bankside, Victoria Cardinal Place, Fenchurch Street and Finsbury Pavement stores next month.

The company operates 250 vending stations across London and offers services to more than 20,000 active users.